Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 25th October 2015

"You wouldn't believe it after yesterday!" intoned Dave Downton, gazing up at a gin clear early morning sky, "After all that rain and low cloud it just doesn't seem possible." But it was; and you had to be quick. At 1005 ready to launch there wasn't a cloud in the sky; by 1030 it was peppered with fluffy cumulus reflecting the small, upward spike on RASP that lasted for 2 hours or so before returning to zero.

Looking across the moor from 2700 feet, stoneage field boundries easy to see.
 Pundits can often be found surveying the sky, giving their assessments of convection, wind strength and energy before deciding to 'leave it until later'... Not so at Brentor today, where those who got into the air by 1200 experienced some good soaring (flight of the day taking Richard Roberts to 3,000ft for 44 mins) whereas those who waited until afternoon found the sky almost blue, albeit some tempting cloud streets appeared (if you could reach them...as Pete Harvey did in the Zugvogel).

Our One Day Course Student was Alex McLaughlin,
 who had travelled from Falmouth, and works on the Cornishman newspaper.
All this was of little concern to our visitors, however, who, enjoying the clarity of the views aloft together with the clarity of the views of their Introductory Flight Pilot Roger Appleboom, were greatly entertained! This group included One Day Course student Alex McLaughlin, visitors Alex White and Andy Grant, Canadian holidaymaker Roger Spall and émigré from North Hill Wynn Davies.

Visitor Alex White with Introductory Flight Pilot Roger Appleboom.
Roger also flew with Roger Spall, who was visiting whilst on holiday from Canada.
The trainee team included Elliot No Coat ('if it doesn't kill you, it'll do you good') Acton, Ed Nikonmeister Borlase, weather watcher Dave Downton and very welcome newcomer Alec Birch, who had signed up for our Fixed Price to Solo Scheme.

As the afternoon drew on the wind, which had been Southerly throughout, picked up in strength, thus aligning the cloud streets and making for some interesting final approaches...

With dusk falling an hour earlier than yesterday, safety over-ruled flying beyond five, at which time we bade farewell to Alex after her 6th and final launch (by which time she was flying the K-13 using all 3 controls together) and shut the hangar doors on completion of 41 trouble free launches.

Thanks go to Barry Green for winching, to son Roger for showing off his super sexy ASW-(up round and down)-20, to Heather Horswill for exercising the Discovery fleet on retrieve, to David Bourchier for providing fresh stocks of yaw string (an instructor's delight!) and Chris Acton for generally helping but not flying (we couldn't fit him in..!)

Martin Cropper

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